Mental issues including depression, anxiety and psychotic behaviors
Sexual violence or harassment
Alcohol and drugs
Things you should know when making a referral
Openly acknowledge the student your observations and perceptions of his or her situation and express your concerns directly and honestly. Make it clear that your referral to someone else does not mean that you think there is something wrong with the student or that you are not interested. Explain that it instead has to do with the limitations of your knowledge and experience.
Refer to a person, not a place. Whenever possible, have the student make an appointment. Otherwise, provide name, phone number, and office location of the referral resource. It can be reassuring if you know the names of staff members and can speak highly of them. Try to normalize the need to ask for help as much as possible. Convey the spirit of hopefulness that troublesome situations can and do get better. If necessary, accompany the student to the appointment.
Recognize that your offer of help may be rejected. People in varying levels of distress sometimes deny their problems because it is difficult to admit they need help or they think things will get better on their own. Take time to listen to the student’s fears and concerns about seeking help. Let the student know that it is because of your concern that you are referring him or her to an important resource. Also, let the student know that the counselor can be asked to call to discuss the concerns before making an appointment.
End the conversation in a way that will allow you or the student to come back to the subject at another time. Keep the lines of communication open and invite the student back to follow up.